Through The Prism Of Slavery / Edition 1

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In this thoughtful book, Dale W. Tomich explores the contested relationship between slavery and capitalism. Tracing slavery's integral role in the formation of a capitalist world economy, he reinterprets the development of the world economy through the "prism of slavery." Through a sustained critique of Marxism, world-systems theory, and new economic history, Tomich develops an original conceptual framework for answering theoretical and historical questions about the nexus between slavery and the world economy. The author explores how particular slave systems were affected by their integration into the world market, the international division of labor, and the interstate system. He further examines the ways that the particular "local" histories of such slave regimes illuminate processes of world economic change. His deft use of specific New World examples of slave production as local sites of global transformation highlights the influence of specific geographies and local agency in shaping different slave zones. Tomich's cogent analysis of the struggles over the organization of work and labor discipline in the French West Indian colony of Martinique vividly illustrates the ways that day-to-day resistance altered the relationship between master and slave, precipitated crises in sugar cultivation, and created the local conditions for the transition to a post-slavery economy and society.

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Editorial Reviews

American Journal of Sociology
Tomich's approach proves very fruitful. . . . Historical and comparative sociologists of all specializations will do well to come to terms with the many methodological and theoretical insights that Tomich offers throughout the book. . . . [Makes] outstanding contributions to historical sociology.
Contemporary Sociology
I commend the author for a well written and clearly organized text. . . . Tomich makes the reader rethink the totality of the relations of capital as presented by Marx.
Not only a stimulating and rich use of the Atlantic history framework, but a muscular defense of the validity, even the necessity, of world history as a serious methodological project that can begin to breach [the] theoretical void. . . . Tomich brings a rigourous and exacting focus to the capitalism and slavery debate with particular attention to the role of the Caribbean as a test case for the uneven historical trajectory of modernity. . . . The essays . . . make a compelling case for using a world history framework that should be read not only by Atlanticists, but by any modern historian. . . . For students of international economy, Tomich's work provides a historical context for current inequalities and development trajectories, and actively challenges any two-dimensional view of the world.
American Journal Of Sociology
Tomich's approach proves very fruitful...Historical and comparative sociologists of all specializations will do well to come to terms with the many methodological and theoretical insights that Tomich offers throughout the book....[Makes] outstanding contributions to historical sociology.
American Historical Review - David Northrup
The thoughtful essays in this volume address the large-scale relationships of slavery and early modern capitalism.
Barry Gaspar
A provocatively illuminating book. This work opens new windows into the wider frameworks within which New World Slavery might be placed and better understood.
David Barry Gaspar
A provocatively illuminating book. This work opens new windows into the wider frameworks within which New World Slavery might be placed and better understood.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780742529397
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group Inc
  • Publication date: 12/1/2003
  • Series: World Social Change Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 228
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.52 (d)

Meet the Author

Dale W. Tomich is professor of sociology and history at Binghamton University.

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Table of Contents

Part I: Slavery in the World Economy
Chapter 1: Capitalism, Slavery, and World Economy: Historical Theory and Theoretical History
Chapter 2: World of Capital, Worlds of Labor: A Global Perspective
Chapter 3: The "Second Slavery": Bonded Labor and the Transformation of the Nineteenth-Century World Economy
Part II: The Global in the Local
Chapter 4: World Slavery and Caribbean Capitalism: The Cuban Sugar Industry, 1760-1868
Chapter 5: Spaces of Slavery: Times of Freedom—Rethinking Caribbean History in World Perspective
Chapter 6: Small Islands and Huge Comparisons: Caribbean Plantations, Historical Unevenness, and Capitalist Modernity
Part III: Work, Time, and Resistance: Shifting the Terms of Confrontation
Chapter 7: White Days, Black Days: The Working Day and the Crisis of Slavery in the French Caribbean
Chapter 8: Une Petite Guinée: Provision Ground and Plantation in Martinique—Integration, Adaptation, and Appropriation
Chapter 9: Contested Terrains: Houses, Provision Grounds, and the Reconstitution of Labor in Postemancipation Martinique

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